Socialist Worker

Virus shows how capitalist system fails millions

Issue No. 2698

Las Vegas has 100,000 empty hotel rooms but is making homeless people sleep in a car park

Las Vegas has 100,000 empty hotel rooms but is making homeless people sleep in a car park (Pic: Clark County Nevada)

The coronavirus crisis has exposed capitalism as a brutal and inhumane system that fails to meet people’s most basic needs.

Tens of thousands of people will die from Covid-19 because the system refuses to provide enough equipment, care and medication to save them.

Millions more will suffer extreme poverty, starvation and other horrors because governments fail to give them the support they need.

But states can always find resources to defend the system.

In South Africa, cops have fired rubber bullets at people queuing outside supermarkets.

In Kenya, commuters have faced police tear gas. In France, cops had issued 38,994 fines after just five days of lockdown and arrested hundreds. Britain is heading in the same direction.

And during the crisis, the Tories drew up plans to loan other countries £1 billion of our money so they can keep buying British arms.

More than half a million people are going without while trying to claim the measly Universal Credit benefit. It would cost £104 billion for the government to give every adult in Britain £2,000.

There’s more than enough money to do that. Last year’s Sunday Times Rich List showed that the richest 1,000 people in Britain are worth £771 billion.

These are desperate times when people need money in their pockets now.


But those at the top want to keep “business as usual” as much as possible.

There are over 100,000 empty hotel rooms in Las Vegas in the US. Yet crowds of homeless people are being forced to sleep in a car park.

Hundreds of homeless people had been thrown out of a 500-bed shelter after one person tested positive for coronavirus.

It can seem that governments are intervening in ways that would have previously seemed unimaginable.

The Tories have pledged to underwrite some wages of some workers who are laid off due to the crisis. But lots of people will get nothing.

Corona crisis shows need to break from chaos of capitalism
Corona crisis shows need to break from chaos of capitalism
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And their measures are still geared towards helping the rich.

So their suspension of rail franchises is aimed at protecting the profits of private rail firms, by saving them from collapse.

Across the world, states have thrown trillions at the banks during the coronavirus crisis.

There are obscene amounts of wealth in the world and the rich keep grabbing more of it.

The truth is that wealth isn’t theirs—it’s ours.

The capitalist system is based on bosses exploiting workers, paying them less than the value of their work and keeping the extra as profit.

We need to take it back, scrap their rotten system and fight for a world run by ordinary people for ordinary people.


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